Sunday, August 24, 2008

Donald leads USA to bronze medal

The USA Olympic baseball team captured the bronze medal yesterday by defeating Japan, 4-2. Jason Donald (pictured celebrating with Jayson Nix) belted a 2-run home run providing the margin of victory. JD led team USA with a .381 batting average in the 9 games in Beijing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Howard goes deep, deep, deep

OK, so Ryan Howard hit his 34th home run, a 2-run shot for the Phillies in Philadelphia's 8-1 pasting of the Dodgers last night, but it was Kevin Howard who is my HomeSider of the night. Kevin was 3 for 4 last night in Portland, all 3 hits were home runs!! Kevin is now hitting .282 for the Tacoma Rainiers, and has hit 6 home runs in his 11 games with the team. With Seattle out of the American League playoff picture, this performance by Kevin could get him a call-up to the Mariners when the rosters expand September 1.

Friday, August 22, 2008

some quick notes

We start Tuesday night when the Oakland A's promoted Scott Mitchinson from Kane County to Stockton. Mitch was 5-3 with a 1.74 ERA before being injured. He has returned to the active list and, after 2 more brief appearances with the Cougars, was promoted to the Ports, where he will be a teammate of Matt Spencer, who started the season in Clearwater. Spencer is hitting .336 since the trade and his overall numbers are very impressive for someone who jumped a level, never appearing in low A: 11 home runs, 59 RBI and a .276 overall batting average.

Wednesday night in Chicago, Gavin Floyd picked up his 13th win of the year as the White Sox destroyed the Mariners, 15-3. Gavin leads all HomeSiders in victories and should be one of the Sox' starters come playoff time.

The Lakewood BlueClaws have found their winning ways again in Eastlake, Ohio, winning Wednesday and Thursday to pull within a half game of the West Virginia Power in the bid for the franchise's second playoff berth. The BlueClaws look like they will have to do it without one of their top guns as Dominic Brown's left shoulder has been re-injured, and he is returning to Florida for rehab.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday's tops

Tuesday night starts in the majors, where in Minnesota, Randy Ruiz pounded 2 more hits, driving in 2 more runs in the Twin's 13-2 bashing of the A's. "Homie" is now hitting .379 in his first 9 games as a major leaguer, with 5 RBI.
Randy's teammate in Lakewood, Michael Bourn, also knocked in 2 runs with a triple last night for Houston in the Astro's 5-2 win over Milwaukee. It was a big, two-out knock to tie the game in the 3rd inning and lead to Houston's victory.
Taylor Buchholz also shined last night, pitching a 1-2-3 8th inning in the Rockies' 8-3 triumph oer the Dodgers. It took Taylor just 13 pitches to retire LA, reducing his ERA to a minuscule 1.57 for the season.
In Sacramento Tuesday night, Kevin Howard had 3 hits, including a double and a 14th inning game winning home run for Tacoma as the Rainiers topped the River Cats, 4-3. Kevin has hit 3 home runs in 8 games since being traded from the Dodgers to the Mariners, his first 2 coming last Friday night against his old teammates, the Las Vegas 51's!!
In Corpus Cristi, Adrian Cardenas added 3 hits and 3 RBI to Midland's 19-hit effort in the Rock Hounds 16-12 win over the Hooks. Adrian is hitting .348 in his first 13 AA games for the Oakland affiliate.
Cardenas' teammate in Lakewood, Edgar Garcia, made his best start since being promoted to Reading on Tuesday. Edgar threw 6 solid innings, holding the hard hitting Bowie Baysox to just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks. Greg Golson hit his 13th home run, Jeremy Slayden picked up RBI #75 and Javon Moran added 2 hits, for Reading, but Bowie won the game 3-2 in 10 innings.
Finally, in Charleston, West Virginia, the Asheville Tourists beat the Power, 10-6, drawing the idle Lakewood BlueClaws to within 2.5 games of first place with 13 game remaining. Lakewood opens a 5 game series in Lake County Wednesday.

Monday, August 18, 2008

HomeSider Highlights

The top news around the HomeSide has got to be Quintin Berry's 30 game hitting streak. This is the longest streak in minor league baseball this season. The streak was stopped Friday night by Tampa. Q is now hitting .276, with 45 stolen bases(in 58 attempts).

Matt Maloney won his 4th straight decision last Thursday, 4-2 over Toledo. Matt is now 10-4 with a 3.95 ERA for Louisville and is looking like a lock for a September call up with the Reds.

Zack Segovia has posted 2 wins in his 5 starts for Harrisburg, although the last outing Thursday in New Hampshire was a rough one. Zack's ERA is a shaky 7.04 in 23 innings with the Eastern League affiliate of the Nationals.

I also have to mention Michael Taylor. After hitting .361 in the first half of this season with Lakewood, Mike was promoted and struggled for the first 3 weeks with Clearwater. These struggles are a long gone memory now as Taylor looks like he did here, hitting .342 for the Threshers, with 6 home runs and 28 RBI in 53 games. Overall, Taylor's season is .353, with 34 doubles, 16 homers, 78 RBI and 13 stolen bases. Can you say "Paul Owens Award winner"?

Around the majors

It has been fun watching the major league games the past few days, as the HomeSiders have been very prominent.

Randy Ruiz had 2 hits and 2 RBI Sunday in the Twin's 11-8 win over the Mariners. Randy is hitting .364 in his first 7 games in the majors.

Robinson Tejeda threw 2.2 hitless innings against the Yankees on Saturday, including coming into the game with the bases loaded and 1 out and stranding all 3 runners. After a shaky start with K.C., Tejeda has settled in, posting a 1.59 ERA in August in 11 innings of work (2.42 in 31 innings overall).

Taylor Buchholz threw 2 more scoreless innings over the weekend, and has been fantastic for Colorado this year. Taylor is 5-3, with a save, 19 "holds", and 1.60 ERA, pitching mainly in games when the Rockies are ahead.

Gavin Floyd pitched to a no decision Friday night in Oakland, allowing just 1 earned run in 5.2 innings against the A's. Gavin leads all former 'Claws with 12 wins in 2008, which is tops on the White Sox staff.

Speaking of the A's, Oakland has promoted Josh Outman to AAA Sacramento, where he has pitched 4 innings in 2 appearances without giving up a run. Adrian Cardenas, promoted to AA Midland is 12 for 38 (.316) in his first 11 games in the Texas League. Oakland has also called up Gio Gonzalez, who has made 3 major league starts, posting a 1-2 record and a 7.53 ERA.

Of course, Ryan Howard continues to lead the National League in home runs with 33 and RBI with 104.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thanks to all HomeSiders

Just a quick note to all the HomeSiders who have inquired to my wife's health. Lena is doing fine and recovering from Monday's surgery as well as could be expected. Thanks for all your notes and cards. And special thanks to the Lakewood HomeSiders, we have received your wonderful fruit.

I will try to get back on the ball in a few more days. Thanks again, everyone!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Carrasco turns in another gem

In Allentown Friday night, Carlos Carrasco made his 2nd good start for Lehigh Valley, throwing 6 innings, and giving up just 3 UNEARNED runs on 8 hits, NO walks, and 10 strike outs. It was his first AAA win and he has yet a to allow an earned run in 12.2 innings of work. If my estimate is right, he will make his next start for the Pigs Friday night in Scranton against the Yankees.

Matt Maloney returned from the DL and made his first appearance for Louisville since July 17 Friday night. Matt gave up 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks against Columbus, recording no decision. Maloney is 9-4, 4.09 in 21 starts for the Reds affiliate.

In other news, Adrian Cardenas has been promoted by the Oakland A's to AA Midland, where he is now a teammate of Josh Outman. Josh pitched 5 strong innings Thursday night against Northwest Arkansas to record his first win for the Rock Hounds. Adrian is 3 for 12 (.250) in his 3 starts for Midland, and is now playing for his 3rd squad in 3 different leagues this year.

The Phillies' trade for Scott Eyre sent HomeSider Brian Schlitter to the Cubs system. Brian, who was 4-3 with 6 saves and a 2.22 ERA for Clearwater, stays in the FSL, being assigned to Daytona. Schlitter made his debut for Daytona last night, tossing 2 scoreless innings.

Quintin Berry continues the hottest streak of any HomeSider in 2008, going 1 for 4 last night to extend the streak to 25 games in a row. Q is now hitting .282, and also set a Clearwater franchise mark for steals, picking up 2 more last night to run his total to 42.

The BlueClaws got another fine pitching performance from the 2008 draft class Friday night as Vance Worley won his second game in Lakewood's 4-3 victory in Hagerstown. Lakewood is 5-2 on the current road trip with the finale tonight in western Maryland, and remains 1.5 games behind West Virginia in the quest for a playoff spot. The BlueClaws are 69-49 on the year with 22 games left.

the majors

Ryan Howard had a tough week, after coming on strong for 6 weeks. Ryno is 6 for 25 (.240) in August, although he did hit 2 home runs, which gives him a share a the NL lead with 32 and now has 97 RBI. Howard will top 100 RBI for the 3rd consecutive season, and has 450 at this moment for his career.

Cole Hamels lost both of his starts this week, giving up 8 runs, 6 earned in just 12.1 innings. Cole is 9-8, 4.35 for the year and has not won a game since July 3.

Kyle Kendrick won his only start this week, and has run his record to a very impressive 10-5, 4.37. Kyle now has a career mark in the major leagues of 20-9, 4.13 in 43 starts in a little over a year.

Gavin Floyd has been struggling a bit, lasting just 4 innings against the Tigers this week. Gavin is 11-6 for the White Sox, but is just 1-2 in his last 5 starts.

Taylor Buchholz continues to throw well for Colorado. Taylor has made 49 appearances for the Rockies, going 4-3 with a very respectable 1.72 ERA. He did give up a run last night against the Padres, allowing a home run by Brian Giles.

After sitting out most of 10 days with an injury, Michael Bourn has returned to the Astros line up. Mike had 2 hits yesterday, and is hitting .232 in 99 games for Houston. He has 33 stolen bases in 41 attempts.

Randy Ruiz had 2 hits in Seattle Wednesday night, and is 3 for 9 (.333) since his call up by the Twins. He has also scored 3 runs, getting his first taste of major league pitching. I have to admire his persistence, Randy will turn 31 years old in October.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

'Claws lose in 15

The Lakewood BlueClaws got 3 home runs in the finale of the series in Greensboro, but could not hold on in a game in which they led 5-0, 6-3, and 7-4 going to the last of the 9th. Freddy Galvis (3), Mike Durant (14), and Travis Mattair (3) all homered for the BlueClaws, but it was not enough as they split the 4 game set with the Grasshoppers, losing 8-7 in 15 innings Tuesday.

Delmarva topped West Virginia, 4-3, to also split their series and the BlueClaws remain 2 games in back of the Power with 25 games remaining.

I am running out the door to work, and will try to update the other HomeSide action later today.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Carrasco shines in debut for LHV

Phillies top prospect Carlos Carrasco showed the form that has everyone in the system drooling over his ability, throwing 6.2 innings in his AAA debut, and giving up just 2 UNEARNED runs on 6 hits, receiving no decision in the IronPigs eventual 5-3 win over Rochester. Carlos threw 102 pitches, 67 for strikes, striking out 4 and surviving 3 errors made by his new teammates. Barring rain outs, Carrasco will make his next start Friday night, also at home for Lehigh Valley.

Credit for outstanding photo goes to Lynn Hoffman again.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Burn, baby, burn!!

After a night of horrors on the bus trip to Greensboro, the Lakewood BlueClaws bats were still "on fire" when they arrived at the ballpark. Dominic Brown led off the game with a home run and Lakewood never looked back, scoring 6 in the 1st, and 6 more in the 2nd, en route to a 14-5 win over the Grasshoppers. 9 different BlueClaws collected hits, with 8 of them getting 2 apiece. Brown and Derrick Mitchell drove in 3 runs each and Freddy Galvis, Travis Mattair and Mike Durant added 2 RBI each as Lakewood notched it's highest run total of the season. Chance Chapman was the beneficiary of the outburst, throwing 6 innings to improve to 7-5, 3.05 on the season. The BlueClaws are now 27-15 in the second half (65-47 overall) , and remain 2 games behind the West Virginia Power, who came from down 8-1 to defeat Delmarva 12-8, with 28 games remaining in the season. Lakewood sends Vance Worley (1-0, 2.10) to the mound a 5:00 PM today in game 2 of the 4 game set in Greensboro.

He's Berry, Berry hot!!

I just couldn't help myself, but Quintin Berry had 3 more hits Saturday night to extend the hitting streak to 18 games in the Thresher's 5-4 loss in Fort Myers. "Q" also drove in 2 runs, raising his total to 36, and his average has climbed all to way to .279. Fidel Hernandez (.238) also picked up 3 hits for Clearwater. Drew Naylor (1-6, 6.95 since promotion) got through 6 frames, allowing all 5 runs on 11 hits and 2 walks. Alex Concepcion continues to show no ill effects from that line drive to the knee, as he and Brian Schlitter each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

I believe it is Carlos Monasterios turn today as Clearwater returns home to face Dunedin.

In Sarasota Saturday, Toms River East Little League star Todd Frazier hit a game winning home run for the Reds in the 15th inning, his 10th of the season, for the Cincinnati affiliate.

In Visalia, California, Matt Spencer pounded 3 more hits, including his 2nd home run this week as the Stockton Ports defeated to Oaks, 12-11. Spencer is 26 for 58 (that's .448) in 14 games since being traded over to the A's, with 7 doubles, 2 homers and 8 RBI.

Outman makes best start for Midland

In Midland, Texas Saturday night, Josh Outman made his 3rd start for the Rock Hounds and it was his best showing so far for his new team. Josh threw 53 pitches, 33 for strikes, and continued to stretch out his arm, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits and NO walks in the Hound's 7-3 win in the first game of a doubleheader against Corpus Cristi. Outman, who had been pitching in relief for Reading, is slowly building back up to where he can be an effective starter for the A's affiliate.

Meanwhile, in Erie, the R-Phils took a 9-0 beating at the hands of the Sea Wolves. Edgar Garcia (0-4 since his promotion) threw 6.1 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. Sergio Escolana gave up a run on 4 hits in less than an inning, and Pat Overholt, who has seemed totally out of sync lately, surrendered 4 unearned runs on 2 hits and 2 walks in just 1 frame.

Reading managed just 5 hits, 2 each for Greg Golson (.288) and Jeremy Slayden (.299).

AAA notes

In Allentown last night, the Rochester Red Wings defeated the IronPigs, 4-1. Jason Jaramillo (.266) was 1 for 4 for Lehigh Valley and Bobby Korecky recorded his 18th save of the year for the Wings.

Carlos Carrasco makes his AAA debut for the 'Pigs this evening.

In New Orleans, Jesus Merchan picked up 3 hits for the Tucson Sidewinders in their 8-7, 10 inning loss to the Zephyrs. Jesus had his hitting streak stopped for a couple of days, but is right back at it again for the Diamondback's affiliate, batting .340 now.

In Oklahoma City, the Redhawks defeated the Las Vegas 51s, 4-3. Elizardo Ramirez threw 6 good innings for Oklahoma, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and NO walks, receiving no decision. Kevin Howard (.258)was 0 for 4 for Las Vegas, and has really struggled since his return from the DL last month.

Ryno belts 31st, Phillies win

Ryan Howard hit his 31st home run Saturday night, and drove in his league leading 96th RBI, to help the Phillies to a 2-1 win over St Louis. Howard is hitting .305 since June 27 and has raised his average to .239, after bottoming out at .163 on May 7.

The Phils lead the Marlins by a game and a half and the Mets by 2.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


The reason for the confusion regarding the equipment came because the boys saw the luggage and equipment being put by the side of the road when the police were evacuating them, thus giving them the impression early on that some of it was lost. It now seems they have everything that they need.

Thanks to everyone for the contributions. Special thanks to Lynn Hoffman, Kathy Palamara and Dan Hoppe for keeping me in the loop.

This is why the HomeSide exists and works as well as it does!!

update on Lakewood

The BlueClaws have arrived in Greensboro and it seems there may have been some misinformation. All was NOT lost on the bus, most of the equipment was salvaged and they apparently have all they need to play the game tonight, which starts in about three and a half hours from now. Once again, the most important thing in the entire incident is NO ONE was hurt.

I have been so preoccupied with this whole fire that I neglected to mention the excellent performance from Michael Stutes again last night in Lakewood's 4-1 win over West Virginia. Stutes threw 6 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on only 2 hits to record his 2nd win in as many starts for the 'Claws. Dominic Brown led the Lakewood attack with 3 hits. Thank goodness he is back, we sure missed his production while he sat out for 8 games with a sore shoulder. Welcome Back, Dom!! Tim Kennelly added 2 more hits and is now hitting .354, and Freddy Galvis chipped in with another hit. Freddy's insertion into the #2 spot in the line up has been a success.

17 and Counting

Quintin Berry has extended his hitting streak to 17 straight games with a 3 hit night in the Thresher's 4-0, 11 inning win last night in Fort Myers. Q is up to .274 now and has tied the Clearwater mark with 40 stolen bases set by Reggie Taylor. Berry stole 55 for Lakewood last season.

disaster on the road

Everybody remain calm, please. I will give you all the details I have. First of all, nobody was hurt, but the bus carrying the Lakewood BlueClaws to Greensboro last night caught fire in Delaware. Again, NOBODY WAS HURT, but apparently the boys could only take what they had in the bus with them, and everything in the underside storage of the bus was lost to either fire or water damage. The team was evacuated to the nearest truck stop by the state police, who responded very quickly. The boys then had to wait to get another bus to their location, so at the time of this post, they are STILL ON THE ROAD to North Carolina, and have been up all night. I have no word yet if the replacement bus stopped off to pick up uniforms and game equipment , so tonight's game is, as of now, questionable.

If anybody has more info, please let me know.

Homie to the show!!

The Minnesota Twins have called up Randy Ruiz to the major league roster. The 30-year old from the Bronx, who is still the single season RBI leader in Lakewood (91 in 2004), made his major league debut Friday night as the Twin's DH, and went 1 for 3 and scored a run. Randy has played in at least organizations (CIN, STL, PHIL, NYY, KC), and his perseverance has finally paid off.
In another HomeSider move, Carlos Carrasco has been promoted to AAA Lehigh Valley. He joins catchers Orlando Guevara and Jason Jaramillo, and pitcher Joe Bisenius as former BlueClaws in Lehigh Valley. J.A. Happ was recalled to Philadelphia on Tuesday. Caraasco will probably jump into the rotation on Sunday(his regular day), replacing Wes Walrond, who was promoted to Philadelphia to take the roster spot of Rudy Seanez, who was placed on the DL yesterday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

the beat goes on

Clearwater took a severe beating, 15-4, at the hands of Fort Myers on Thursday, and while the continuing struggles of Joe Savery (1 inning, 8 earned runs) have to be worrying, there was some good news. Michael Taylor is still hot, picking up 2 more hits and raising his average at Clearwater to .286, and .335 overall with 69 RBI in 103 games this year. He is now 15 for his last 39 (.384). Quintin Berry also had another hit to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.

Reading rode a strong performance from Drew Carpenter (7 innings, 1 earned run on 5 hits) and Sergio Escalona (2 hit-less innings for a save) to a 7-2 win over Harrisburg. Mike Spidale (single, triple, home run #7, 3 RBI) and Neil Sellers (single, double, home run #18) provided the spark for the Phillies offense. Brad Harman chipped in with his 11th home run.

In Frisco, Texas last night, Tim Gradoville belted his first home run of the year for the RoughRiders in Midland's 9-6 win. Grado also threw out 2 of 3 would-be stealers.

In Modesto, Matt Spencer has not cooled off, either, pounding out 3 more hits to raise his average to .449 since being traded over to Oakland in the Joe Blanton deal. Adrian Cardenas also had another hit another RBI for Stockton in the Port's 5-4 loss to Modesto.

In Pawtucket, Randy Ruiz (.320) had 3 hits, including his 17th dinger of the season. "Homie" also drove in 3 more runs, to raise his total to 68 for Rochester. The Red Wings lost the game to the Sox, 7-6 when Bobby Korecky blew his 9th save, and picked up the loss.

In Tacoma, Andy Baldwin continues his winning ways, throwing 6 shut out innings, allowing just 2 hits, in a rain shortened game as Tacoma beat Round Rock, 2-0. Andy improved to 7-5, 5.10 on the year.

Finally, Kyle Kendrick picked up his 9th win of the year as the Phillies beat the Nationals in Washington last night, 8-4. Kendrick went 6.2 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, to improve to 9-5, 4.59 for the season. Ryan Howard had 2 hits, and drove in his 95th run of the year, that the top number in the National League. Cole Hamels (9-6, 3.27) gets the ball tonight for Philadelphia in St. Louis.

Eaton no help

Adam Eaton started the game for the Lakewood BlueClaws Thursday night, and allowed 4 earned runs in less than 4 innings, and Lakewood never recovered, losing to West Virginia, 8-3. The loss dropped Lakewood 3 games behind the Power with 1 game remaining tonight in the series, with Oregon State grad, and 2-time College World Series champion Michael Stutes making his 2nd start for Lakewood. Stutes has been brilliant since turning pro, going 3-1 with a 1.09 ERA in 7 professional appearances for Williamsport and Lakewood. Thanks to Lynn Hoffman for the great photo.